To get the most value out of your accounts and services, you need the right information. Minimizing fees is all about choosing the right accounts to meet your financial needs, making smart choices in the services you use on a daily basis, and managing your account balance effectively.

Choosing the right accounts can help you avoid monthly service fees

When choosing an account, think about how you plan to use the account and the services you will need on a regular basis. Many accounts provide options to avoid a monthly service fee based on how you use or manage the account, such as by:

  • Maintaining a daily minimum account balance
  • Setting up direct deposit of your paycheck or other income

Keep in mind that options to avoid the monthly service fee may change at a future date. Wells Fargo keeps you informed of your current monthly service fee and ways to avoid the fee in the Monthly Service Fee Summary. The Monthly Service Fee Summary is available on your paper and online statement, and in your mobile and online banking secure session.

Making smart service choices can help you avoid fees

In many instances, a fee-based service has a free or lower-cost alternative that will allow you to achieve the same goal.

For example, Wells Fargo charges a fee for a balance inquiry at non-Wells Fargo ATMs. You can avoid this fee by using a Wells Fargo ATM, and you can get the same balance information with your phone using our Wells Fargo Mobile app or by calling us anytime at 1-800-869-3557 (1-800-TO-WELLS).

When you need money from your account, but you are not near your bank’s ATM network, consider making a small purchase at a nearby merchant and getting cash back from the transaction rather than paying a withdrawal fee for using an out-of-network ATM. Some merchants may assess a fee when you use your card for a purchase. This fee will be included in the total purchase amount. If you decide to use a non-Wells Fargo ATM, think about how much cash you will need over several days and withdraw the full amount at one time rather than paying for a series of small withdrawals.

Managing your account to help avoid overdraft fees

You should always make sure that you have enough funds in your account to cover all of the transactions you initiate. If the bank, at its discretion, pays for an item on your behalf when you don’t have enough money in your account, this creates an overdraft or negative balance in your account. The amount needs to be repaid promptly, and you may be charged an overdraft fee. Alternatively, the bank may return the item unpaid. If this happens, the bank won’t assess a fee, but you may be charged late fees or penalties from the merchant who was expecting the payment.

The most effective way to avoid overdrafts and returned items is to keep an accurate record of your transactions and check your available balance before making a purchase or a withdrawal. Track all deposits and withdrawals from your account whether it is by check, ATM, debit card, or recurring payment (e.g., your car payment or gym membership fee).

Additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Direct Deposit may not only help you avoid monthly service fees, it also offers a convenient, fast and safe way for you to access recurring income.
  • Use your savings account to build up your savings. Use your checking accounts to manage your daily withdrawals and transfers.
  • Wells Fargo offers services, such as online and mobile banking and text alerts, that can help you monitor your account balance. Keep in mind that your available balance does not include transactions that we don’t know about yet, for example checks you have just written or the car payment you just authorized. Only you know all the transactions that will affect the balance you have available for making that next payment.
  • Consider signing up for Overdraft Protection. At Wells Fargo, when you link an eligible Wells Fargo savings or credit account to your checking account, the bank will use available funds in your linked account(s) to cover your transactions if you don't have enough money in your checking account.

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